France’s Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has vowed to do all he can to track down a gang which attacked a bus in Marseille leaving a young woman severely burned. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has sent riot police reinforcements to the city. Hooded youths torched the bus on Saturday evening. A 26-year-old woman of Senegalese origin is now between life and death with 70 per cent burns.
It is the first threat to life in violence in France’s poor suburbs on the anniversary of three weeks of rioting that stunned the country a year ago. The fears are that violence could spiral as it did last year. The trouble then was triggered by the accidental electrocution of two teenagers who had been fleeing police in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. A silent march was held in the suburb in the remembrance of the two teenagers on Friday.